Freshie News





Surrounding Sydney, and within easy reach of its heart, are maritime resorts almost any of which would put to tho blush some of the most talker-of and fashionable watering places on the other side of the world. In the harbour and on the coast nature has dealt it out with an almost too lavish hand.

Manly, of course, Is the queen watering place of Sydney— the villagers would say of the Southern Hemisphere.

But with all respect to its harbour background, Its chastely classical statuary, its odorous back streets, and its ferry pass-bedecked aldermen, there are easily half a dozen other beaches round Sydney which for natural beauty run the Village very closely.

Away out past North Steyne, about eight or ten minutes’ tram journey from the wharf and less than five minutes’ walk beach wards from Freshwater Junction,

Queenscliff Bridge

Here is found a long and very narrow wooden bridge leading to the place of many steps spanning the hill of Queenscliffe. When one has climbed the last stage of steps, and before he has covered the short distance which will take him to the first of the series of steps leading down to the other side, a view of unsurpassed seascape bursts upon the view.


This is the beach of Freshwater, held by many to be the finest surfing stretch or water on our coasts. Running back from the semi-circular beach is a naturally beautiful valley, a fairy bushland, bounded by craggy hills.

In the declivity between these rocky outcrops, stretching back for a mile or more, are dotted the week-end shacks, camps, cottages, or what other name one chooses to call tho two or three room wooden structures. These are the residences of the week-enders.



Getting to this beauty spot other than by walking from Freshwater Junction, on the Manly-Narrabeen tram line, over the narrow bridge which spans the lagoon at Queenscliffe, and then across the hill; or by taking the tram to the steps, which are right at the back of Freshwater.

Freshwater 1900s.

A tramway extension is to he constructed to Freshwater some day: It may help in a couple of years, and It may be in 25 years. And here the question may be asked, is there any other city of a civilised country possessing such a fairyland which would not long ago have constructed a line of any cost, and run to it a fast service of trams or trains?



As It now exists, Freshwater is chiefly interesting because of the multitude of its weird residential structures.

Coming over Queenscliffe head you see squat wooden houses perched among the rocks. Some are giddily poised on slender piles of stone or brick, others on wooden stakes, and yet others dumped down flat on a convenient nook in the rocks.

There is no building covenant over that way, and the shacks are destitute of any architectural pretensions.

Occasionally cottages with wide verandahs can be found, but the majority of the Freshwater buildings are utterly destitute of external appurtenances, their eyebrowless appearance being emphasised by the funny little doors and windows.

At the bottom of the steps is a street or road of weatherboard camps rejoicing in the name of Rotten Row.

Then, running through the valley, are other rows of camps, some nestling in choice pieces of bush scenery, and others quite hidden by the scrub and foliage.

The buildings contain anything from one to four rooms.

Some have garden plots, and here and there may be observed cottages which in their construction and surroundings bear evidence of refined taste. Likewise there are some which are tastefully furnished and elaborately appointed.

But the great majority of the cottages or huts carry inside and outside the stamp of the simple life.


Single and two-decker canvas bunks or stretchers provide the sleeping accommodation, the other furniture consisting of rudely fashioned tables, benches, and stools, and occasionally deck chairs.



Freshwater is musical or unmusical, accordingly as one possesses the soul for ragtime or abhors it. It is, at any rate, unusual to find a hut without its piano, and it is also exceptional to

Oh! to be able to discover a Freshwater domestic orchestra in sound health.

The weekend settlement has Its general stores, Its grocery, and butcher shops, post-office, electric and gas light. It is. In fact, a little self-contained town, and ono which carries tho air

of being’ exceptionally well pleased with itself.



Freshwater is unique in Itself. It would be difficult to find quite its kind near any other city or place In this or the Northern Hemisphere.

It is peculiar ln its inhabitants.

Its situation, Its isolation, and Its mode of life.

What may be termed the public business of the town is transacted at dinnertime on Sundays.

With the midday repast comes the rent man and the gas man, who collects the tolls from the shilling-in-the-slot meters.

Once over the Queenscliffe hill you are in another land, quite cut off from the life of tho city, Its lights and shades and pleasures and anxieties, and to all intents and purposes you at once become a participant in the simple life.


One of tho first things which strikes the new visitor to Freshwater is the queerness of the names, which distinguish the camps from one another.. There are no numbers on the different residences, and It Is probable that the names of the roads— If they exist at all — are not known to anybody but the estate agents. These names then serve a useful purpose, and an Inquiry for a particular name will ensure a prompt and true direction from any of the campers and their friends.

Classical names are conspicuous by their absence. The Devil Dodgers is the title of one home, while on various parts of the valley are to be found The Glad Eye, Paradise Lost (in course of construction), Government House, Little Green Patch, Shark’s Bait, Simple Life, The Monastery, Rogue’s Retreat, Dirty Reds, The One. The Other, and Next Door.



Nestled among the foliage of one of the most favoured patches is a camp rejoicing in the title of Mont de Piete.

The fancy of the Inhabitants of this lot has further caused them to suspend FRESHWATER PICNIC

Over the gate three golden balls. The demand made on the names of popular plays and musical comedies covers nearly every piece staged In Sydney during the last 10 years.


Freshwater 1895 boxing Pugilists SLNSW

The population of Freshwater is migratory. From Monday to Friday the place is, as dead as a door nail, and there are not many about except the few who reside there permanently.

But during the long summer every Friday night sees the arrival of long streams of week-enders. This stream continues all Saturday morning, and increases a hundredfold during the afternoon, while at night as the trams arrive from each boat big crowds are discharged at the junction, and the long bridge is heavily taxed by the hundreds that pass over it.

It is surprising, too, the heavy loads that axe constantly carried over the many steps of the steep hill.

Among the articles brought in this way are valises, baskets, heavy hampers, fishing gear,

rugs, blankets, and bottles, and even small kegs of beer for the Sunday refreshment



Freshwater Is not to be found In any official guide book of the beauty spots of the State.

Its Saturday night and Sunday population has not been reduced to figures, but judging

by the multitude that pass through the bridge, tho number of residences and the general appearance of tho place on Sunday morning and afternoon the regular weekenders possibly number between two and three thousand souls.

This population is made up of all classes of the community. The artisan out with his family for a week-end breather lives next door to the city commercial and professional men.

Manly says that Freshwater is not respectable. But then Manly Is jealous, and is also suffering from a species of swelled head.

It is likely that tho great majority of Freshwater week-enders are quite peace-loving, hard-working, and noiseless people. But a comparatively small number of noisy young men and giggling young women can turn an otherwise peaceful pared into an inferno, and rightly or wrongly Freshwater has the name of being at certain times a place of fearsome noises.

The bare-headed-soft-collar-over-chat-white-trousered frisky youth who  frequents the

Manly wharf on Saturday nights, and whose compulsory enlistment and transportation to

the front, where the hottest fighting is, would confer the greatest benefit on himself and the

community generally, helps to make up the week-end Freshwater population.

And he and his lady friends are want to make night hideous between tho hours of 10 and 12, or even later, as they trail over the long lagoon bridge.

Ragtime songs delivered in the most raucous of voices, cat calls, shrieks, and shouts are some of the things which murder the sleep of the peaceful Queenscliffe Headlanders on week-end nights.

This has caused Freshwater to bear a name for rowdyism which it perhaps does not deserve. On Sunday nights the long trail Sydney wards begins and by 9 o’clock on Monday morning Freshwater is denuded of by far the greater part of its population.


June 16  2020

Recently we have noted a new DA2020/0543 Development Application has been made for the standout position at the corner of Lawrence St & Dowling St & Oliver St. The notification period is 5/6/2020 to 19/6/2020 for any submissions, for more details see the link above.

Our purpose of noting this is not to pass judgement on this development but to inform the community of the intended changes to entry to our main street.

May 25 2020

After an 8 -year campaign mounted by the Friends of Freshwater and the Soldiers Avenue Stakeholders Group, a community toilet has finally been opened for use in Jacka Park.

Jacka Park, despite being heavily used by schoolchildren, playground toddlers and for picnics and commemorations, has never had a toilet in its more than 30 years as a public green space. Whenever an event was held, portable toilets had to be hired.

A previously unused Workers Shed  was proposed by FOF for conversion as a ready-made alternative.

Unfortunately, our requests were constantly rebuffed by Council, as there were apparently more pressing priorities on its Capital Projects List.

With the overarching assistance of our Curl Curl Ward Councillors including Mayor Michael Regan, work began recently.

The new amenity has disabled access, baby change facilities and an outdoor hygiene basin.

A special pathway has been created to enable ease of access for prams and wheelchairs.  The amenity is designed to open at sunrise and close at sunset.

This is another good example of the community and Council working close together.

Feel free to pay a visit and “spend a penny”.

Apr – 2020

Did anyone know that Freshwater beach used to have a stone/concrete wall along the front between the beach and the park.

Apr – 2020

Did anyone know that Freshwater beach used to have a stone/concrete wall along the front between the beach and the park.

Spot the difference!

Beachfront 1965 - courtesy Denis Lynch
Beachfront 2020 - courtesy Denis Lynch
There is some discussion but it seems  most of the wall would have been taken down when they put dunes back in and stormwater drainage during the later 70s/early 80s

If anyone whats to see an even earlier picture then look at this aerial view of the area as far back as 1953 there is some amazing detail.

Curl Curl & Harbord 1953 -  Sydney aerial photo


April 2020 – They are getting bigger and deeper with the appearance of a Soldiers Avenue ” Sinkhole” last week. It  highlights ongoing issues with Freshwater Creek Pipe as it passes under Soldiers Avenue at Eric Street junction.

Apr – 2022

It may seem surprising that we are celebrating the addition of  a new toilet block – but we are. This is the Jakka Park toilet block that has been promised for decades. Finally they are near completion. Yea!


Mary MacKillop Car Park – taken 9:45pm Sunday Dec 29, 2019

This is the new summer holiday hotspot on our doorstep. Amazing what one of our local members saw this Sunday night December 29.  Interesting that the toilets close at sunset so it begs the obvious question?

Christmas Celebration

This weekend Sunday – Dec 8 2019 – 8am to 4pm – Lawrence St, Freshwater

Christmas Celebration
Amid the shop closures, landlord machinations and the glaring lack of a supermarket, Christmas in Freshie might appear a bit subdued, but you may have noticed a few Christmas decorations in Freshwater Village recently. These have been attached to the maturing Water Gums along the streets.  There’s more to come: by the end of the month there’ll be a summery, festive flag program along Lawrence Street and into Albert Street. There is also a plan for a proposed Freshwater Fair for Sunday 8 December 2019, 8am – 2pm.

<Click for more details – Sunday Dec 8 – 8am – 4pm >
followed by Christmas Carols in the Park – behind the Surf Club

The intention of the Freshwater Fair is to invite people into Freshwater village for a day out, encouraging them to do some Christmas shopping, meet up with friends, grab some produce, get spruced up or buy a coffee/meal.  As well as providing decorations, Council will be programming some music/entertainment for the main areas and producing posters/flyers to pop around the village.  For this special event, businesses will be permitted to display merchandise outside their shop (even if they are not currently a permit holder) – noting that they must leave at least 2 metres clearance for people to safely walk past shops.

The Organic Scarecrow will also be part of the event.  On the day, Tim from the Organic Scarecrow, will be coordinating the market in the usual site near Vintage Cellars, but may expand his offering to include some retail stalls for the day.


News of historical importance:

Harbord Literary Institute stone

Sean Rout (L) & Wendy Machon (R)

You may have heard that through sheer luck, we held a small gathering today, attended by the direct descendants of the first president Thomas Arthur Sterland” and former members of the “Harbord Literary Institute”, committee (which was disbanded when councils merged), and the Mayor to remove the foundation stone laid down by the Hon A. James, the then Minster of Education for NSW in 1918. See photo Foundation Stone. And we found the 101 year old “Time Capsule”.

Northern Beaches Mayor – Michael Regan

How did we know it was there after 101 years.

A Quick history:


An old scrapbook of Manly Daily clippings (mainly relating to Freshwater of the times) from 1917 to 1920 odd was found by Alan Wright (Cricket club – friend of mine) on the footpath at Balgowlah in the Council rubbish clean-up waiting to be pick up the next day. He knew it was significant piece of history and retrieved it and passed it on the Sterland family who still live in Soldiers Ave. They contact local Wendy Machon who found an article from the Manly Daily dated 20th July 1919, stating that “At the opening of Freshwater Literary Institute the week before a time capsule containing clippings of local and city newspapers, coins of the realm and a typed history of the building of the institute, were placed behind the foundation stone laid down by Hon A. James Minster of Education”. I contacted our Mayor.


As we were unsure if it was still there (normally they are taken up after 50 years, or did someone steal it?), so we keep the event very low key and local, and to our amazement when council staff removed the stone it was intact. The contents are stored in a glass bottle and they look in good shape. See photo 1 the Mayor on opening, photo 2 the Sterland family including the grandson  and great grandson of Thomas, who flew interstate, and photo 3 shows eagle eye Wendy.  And yes it was open as the Freshwater Literary Institute”.


The capsule was taken away to be to be inspected by specialists from NSW State Museum.

Council will be announced to all that are interested to attend the opening, at a time and date to be advised by council. An article may be in this Saturday Manly Daily.


One more slice of history for our little Village of Freshwater.

Dear Soldiers Avenue Descendants and friends,

You may already be aware that the Soldiers Avenue Stakeholders Group, of which you are all a part of, have been successful in lobbying the Northern Beaches Council to provide a footpath down the lower northern end of Soldiers Avenue from Oliver Street to Eric Street.  This will now enable our group to plant more trees where they have been lost and place memorial plaques directly into the footpath, along with the new ease of walking down this very busy street.  We are pleased to say that this footpath has just been finished, including some turfing and it looks great.


To enable our group to finish off our goal,  we are applying for a grant of $86,000 from a grant pool of  $260,000 from the N.S.W. Government’s “My Community Project”.  These grants are awarded to the projects that gain the most votes and is conducted through their site below.  We have been told that we have now advanced to the last 20 applicants.  It is a fairly lengthy process and you will need your Medicare card as proof of identity before you start.


To vote for the community project grant, people will need to log in or sign up for myserviceNSW at the link below:

NOTE : All voters must live in the NSW Manly Electorate. Your medicare number is required to prove residency

We know that this may be difficult for some, so if you don’t have access to the internet, please ask a friend or relative if they can help you as this is a rare opportunity to finally achieve this goal set nearly 7 years ago.  If you have other family or friends who may like to participate, please forward this email onto them.


The project will close on the 15th of August 2019, so take a bit of time out and get on line.   If you are successful, please drop a quick line and let us know.

Kind Regards,

Wendy Machon

(on behalf of the Soldiers Avenue Stakeholders Group)



(L-R): Freshwater locals Christine Frith, Sean Rout and Wendy Machon on Soldiers Avenue.

After years of promises and with a bit of extra pressure from our Freshwater Stakeholders Group and the Friends of Freshwater the council has completed the new footpath from Oliver St to Eric St with placement strips ready for the next phase when this group will start adding the brass remembrance strips for each of the remembrance trees. We’d like to thank Christine, Sean & Wendy for their tireless efforts in helping with this great result.

For more details click on the picture.



Council has accepted a proposal from a Freshwater local, the Organic Scarecrow, to bring pop-up stalls to the Harbord Institute pocket park.  As you may be aware, the demand from the community to access fresh fruit and produce is very strong.  We’re excited to work with the Organic Scarecrow to trial a solution.

Tim from the Organic Scarecrow will bring a small, quality offering of organic and chemical free produce to the village.  The seasonal supply will include leafy greens, fruit, vegetable, yogurt, eggs, olive oil and local honey.  Bulk wholefoods, such as flour and nuts, and deli cheeses and olives are also potential inclusions. 

At Council we heard the business community’s reservations about a large market, and have shared this feedback with Tim.  The Organic Scarecrow is a small family business, and wants to see Freshwater Village succeed.  He will be letting customers know about the great flowers, meat, bread, fish, coffee, fashion and homewares that are in the village – and won’t be selling these items himself.  We encourage local businesses to refer their customers to Tim too!

The Organic Scarecrow pop-up will be a modest scale.  Initially we expect up to five marquees on the site, which is adjacent to the Vintage Cellar car park.  Starting on Sunday 25 August 2019 the Organic Scarecrow will be on site for four weeks.  After those four weeks, Council will undertake a review of the operation to consider extending their permit.


Our community and our village businesses are none the wiser as to when, or if, a supermarket is going to open in Freshwater Village. The brand new 1200 square metres of retail space has been empty since October 2018 leaving our community without a convenient, close, source of fresh fruit and vegetables. Commendably, our local butcher is selling milk and The Captains Shop is selling a limited range of fruit and vegetables, and has plugged the gap left by the closure of our news agency.

The lack of an anchor tenant in this retail space has also had a debilitating impact on village businesses, some of which are now closing their doors and departing.

“Berties” and “Blaek” on the southern side of Lawrence Street are leaving for sites in Manly and hoping for greater pedestrian traffic.

Already there are empty shops and likely to be more. Their emptiness is compounded by the fact that one particular landlord is seeking rents well above what the tenants have the capacity to pay. A solid dose of realism is needed.

A Super IGA for Freshwater?

The eventual, probable, anchor tenant of the Retail space in the “Freshwater” complex is likely to be the Karellas Group, who are associated with the IGA/Metcash for basic grocery items, but operate under the Supamart brand for other supplies.

If the experience from its other 6 sites (Cremorne; Rose Bay; Pyrmont, Pennant Hills; Blaxland and Rozelle) is anything to go by, it probably will attempt to offer a one-stop shopping experience focussing on fresh local produce. The Group is fast growing, after its successful initial foray into supermarket operation at its Cremorne site. It has converted the old Festival Records site in Pyrmont to a supermarket as well as the former Tram sheds factory building at Harold Park, near Glebe. Its MD, Vas Karellas is 42 and his brother, Andrew, is 40 and both are closely involved with every stage of the business.

Their arrival in Freshwater cannot come soon enough although latest mail suggests an April start…. see more ‘The Duke – Feb 2019’

Soldiers Ave needs your support for its HERITAGE FOOTPATH – before March 3, 2019

We need your support to press Council to upgrade the priority of a heritage section of footpath in Soldiers Avenue from medium (never to be built) to be constructed in the 2019 Capital Budget Year.

Council has allocated an unprecedented further $3m for footpaths but Freshwater barely registers on the radar of this exercise.

The Soldiers Avenue of Honour is celebrating its Centenary this year. It is listed as a Community War Memorial and its trees are heritage listed.

Since 2012, A Stakeholders Group consisting of the Harbord RSL Sub Branch, Freshwater Surf Club; Friends of Freshwater Inc and the Harbord Literary Institute have been working to bring the Avenue back to its former grandeur.  This has included the installation of a wall mural: information plinth and commemorative bench, as well as the installation of bronze plaques inserted in the footpaths of the Avenue. We have had great support from the three tiers of government and Ausgrid undergrounded the high voltage cabling in 2015 to extend the lifespan of the heritage trees. We have also been recapturing the histories of those who served in World War One (and their families) for publication in book form and have commissioned sculptures that are now installed in Jacka Park.

We want to install more commemorative plaques but without a footpath in which to place them, this is an impossibility.

Please support us in this endeavour.

 click here to download SOLDIERS AVE FOOTPATH POSTER

Submission – Draft Northern Beaches Walking Plan No. 301 Soldiers Avenue

Please assist in making a submission however detailed or brief to Council by 3 March.

If you need any help don’t hesitate to contact us.

Call-out: Pop-up markets at Freshwater village

Northern Beaches Council is inviting proposals for a pop-up market in Oliver Street car park, Freshwater.

Business and residents in Freshwater have expressed their concern about the lack of fresh produce. Place Score findings revealed that fresh fruit and vegetable was the highest priority for the village, and this need has become more pronounced since the closure of the local supermarket.

A weekly pop-up market will bring people back into the village, and give residents access to the goods they need.

Proposals will be accepted until 2pm on Tuesday 26 February, 2019.

or Call NBC Council : 1300 434 434


This Saturday 1 December 10- 3pm

Enjoy a day of books, history, community and food in celebration of this unique site.

31 Lawrence St, Freshwater


Recently, the Friends of Freshwater completed the second stage of our Village Public Art Project with a mural on the southern  wall of the Village Plaza. This project came about following our receipt of a Community Development Grant from Northern Beaches Council. The first stage was to recognise the First Peoples of Freshwater and we gained the services of a prominent indigenous artist to undertake that task.

For the second stage, we commissioned a Brookvale collective of artists to paint the mural. It has local historical and environmental themes and is designed to uplift a rather drab area of the plaza.

Following receipt of an excellent piece of art from one of your students, Annika Mulcahy, from Year 4, the artists were able to incorporate elements of her work into the finished mural.  Annika was even able to sign her part of the artwork.

Picture of the artists Annika, her mother, Peter Harley and the Street artists, Jaimee Lee and Miguel Rodriguez from the Kayapa Art Collective.


The recent closure of the long established IGA franchise in Freshwater Village Plaza at the end of October and the lack of readiness for opening of a Super IGA in the new Freshwater Apartment complex has left the community without a Supermarket and without the ability to locally purchase groceries and vegetables. Small businesses have jumped into the breach with the Captain’s Shop expanding stock and even the Butcher is selling milk.

The new IGA should have opened months ago, but engineering and power issues as well as fit-out delays have pushed the date back to the New Year. The Duke’s village snout has heard that a whole shipload of equipment is now being transported from NZ.

The net effect is that local small businesses are not getting the impact of increased pedestrian traffic that this anchor tenant will inevitably bring. Freshie customers are forced to hop in a car and go elsewhere. WILL THEY COME BACK!


Five commercial and residential holdings in Lawrence Street, Freshwater,   extending from the arcade through to Dowling Street are for sale for $30m.  These properties are the largest single land holding in the Village and have been owned by the Zakos family for many decades. Expressions of Interest closed on November 14 and the suits+ clipboards have been present in numbers in the Village.

This could be a godsend for the Village as only a small number of shops in the Zakos Holdings have substantial leases. Others have been vacated and remain empty and some have pop-up operations.

If a development is to occur, it will need to cover the whole site and not be piecemeal. It will need be in accordance with the height controls, setbacks and underground parking arrangements specified in the Freshwater Village Planning requirements of the Warringah LEP. In addition, all traffic will have to enter via Dowling Street, as it does now. There will be no rooftop car park, as Council is opposed to these in new developments.

As usual, the Friends of Freshwater will closely scrutinise any development application for the site.


The recent decision by the Northern Beaches Planning Panel to change the zoning of the Oliver Street car park from community to operational will have a big impact on the approved “Oceans”development. Its design will need to be modified to enable parking and services to arrive and depart from the rear rather than from Lawrence Street. This will mean the ultimate closure of the Lawrence St. driveway and allow the inclusion of an additional shop.

Both Council and the Friends of Freshwater supported this initiative, which is in line with the Village Master Plan that specifies the gradual closure of all laneways into Lawrence Street.

This development is due for completion in 2020 and apartments and shops are now being sold off the plan.


As noted in a previous edition of “the Duke”, the former long-standing Baby Health Centre, which is now located near the Mall, is shortly to open as a refurbished Aboriginal Heritage Centre.  This Centre, which covers 8 LGA’s was previously located on a small corner site in Raglan Street, Manly.

It was unable to suitably display its collection of artefacts. This renovated facility will enable this to occur, and a sneak peek prior to its opening reveals that Council has done a great job in giving a new life to this heritage-listed building. In a previous life, it was also Harbord’s first Fire Station.

“Lipstick on a Pig …Public Toilets Update

Friends of Freshwater Inc been campaigning for upgraded or new toilets in both the Village and Jacka Park

Jacka Park is classified as a “District Park” but is almost alone on the northern beaches without any toilet facilities. Uses of the children’s playground have long complained about the situation, and Friends of Freshie managed to get it on the Capital Projects Priority List for Warringah Council’s Parks and Foreshores Strategic Plan. All this went awry with the Council Amalgamation and we are now back to Square One competing with 30 other public toilet projects for funding. As for the kids, they are going in the bushes or wherever.

On the Centenary of Armistice Day, local neighbours kindly offered their own toilet facilities to those that needed it.  Clearly this is an unsatisfactory situation in this day and age.

We had a recent meeting, in October, with the Mayor and senior managers over coffee at Room 210 in the Village and pressed our concerns. The public toilet at the rear of the former baby health centre looks as though it was originally built for the Fire Station personnel in 1930.

It needs to be revamped to bring it up to modern standards of hygiene. Apparently 80 years ago, men didn’t need to wash their hands after going to the toilet as there is no handwashing provision.

Council’s immediate response was an urgent paint job. We say it is mere lipstick on a pig.


Harbord Literary Institute turns 100.

It is one of the last of its kind still standing and still serving its community during the day as a community kindergarten and library, and at night as a meeting place and activities centre. Political parties have held branch meetings there since the 1930’s.

A Centenary Celebration will be held on Saturday, December 1, from 10.30am until 3pm.  EVERYONE ARE WELCOME.

In order to recognise the contributions of those now deceased who have contributed their time to the Literary Institute over 100 years, the Freshwater Community Bank has provided a community partnership grant to enable a permanent legacy of those people to be framed and placed on the wall of the meeting room. This represents a small permanent legacy of the Centenary.


As part of a community development grant gained by Friends of Freshwater Inc. for installation of public art in the Village Plaza, two northern beaches artists, Jaimee Paul and Miguel Gonzalez are currently painting a mural across the southern wall in the Plaza. These artists were drawn from a list of community artists compiled by Northern Beaches Council. Another young budding artist, Annika Mulcahy, also has had her work incorporated into the mural.

Explanatory signage has also been erected at part of the project.



Armistice Day 2018 was a major community event held in the Freshwater Anzac Precinct memorials at Jacka Park and Soldiers Avenue of Honour with more than 500 in attendance. Both sites were formally registered in 2016 with the State Government as Community War Memorials.  Soldiers Avenue has local heritage listing for both its trees and plaques.

Highlights of the Event included local Surf Club members Natalie Jander and Ben Blakeney playing the roles of local WW1 nurse, Alice Le Messurier, and the Unknown returning Northern Beaches soldier.  They worked from scripts prepared by local journalist, Paul Fenn.  Both were dressed in period clothing.

There were unveilings during the event including a bronze bust of Alice Le Messurier and a bronze bust of the Unknown local soldier. Both were made available by grants secured by the Friends of Freshwater from State and Federal grant funds, and were unveiled in Jacka Park.  These were sculpted by well-known artist, Alan Somerville, and cast in bronze and installed by Crawford’s Castings. A Commemorative Bench was also unveiled in lower Soldiers Avenue to mark the Centenary of Armistice 1918-2018.

It was great to observe the involvement of Harbord Public School in playing the Last Post and reading poetry. It is of interest to note that Freshwater Public School (as it was called in 1918 and until 1928), had the same level of contribution at Armistice Day in 1918.

We were again delighted to welcome alto singer, Sophie Hatzis, who sang the National Anthem at Jacka Park and then sang the late Stephen Raffo’s WW1 song composed in 1915. It was popular at the time and was even sung by Dame Nellie Melba, but had not been sung publicly for nearly 100years.

Sophie’s rendition was at the Information Plinth in Soldiers Avenue and it was witnessed by members of the Raffo family.


In order to continue the refurbishment of the Soldiers Avenue of Honour, we badly need new sections of footpath along the Avenue’s northern side.  This would enable the further installation of bronze plaques into the new pathing.

Friends of Freshwater and the Soldiers Avenue of Honours Stakeholders Group has been lobbying our Curl Curl Ward councillors as to the importance of this heritage footpath.  We hope to have an outcome by December.

2019 will see in the Centenary of the Soldiers Avenue of Honour.


The recent tragic death of Liam Anderson at Pavilion Reserve highlighted the need to have a clear landing space for hospital helicopters to link up with ambulances.

This was not envisaged in the all the discussion of parking at the Freshwater Beach Reserves. Where the chopper landed would have been a car park in the first draft of the Plan. Clearly now it will be taken into account.

Thanks to quick-thinking White Waves resident, Denis Lynch, for the photo.


JOIN the Friends of Freshwater in 2018.

If you are thinking of becoming a member of FOF, or simply renewing your membership for 2019, then hop on line to our website at easy subscription.

In 2018/2019 our projects will continue to be focussed on:

  • Seeing various aspects of the Freshwater Coastal Space Master Plan through the planning stage including the upgrading of Beach reserve playgrounds and public amenities: completion of the missing segment of the coastal walkway from South Curl Curl Pool through to Freshwater Beach: bush regeneration of Undercliffe Reserve to bring it back to a natural state, and implementation of a Reserve Management Plan for Freshwater View Estate.  
  • Continuing to grow the Freshie Community Garden in Crown Reserve as a model of urban sustainability. 
  • Work on the next stages of the Freshwater Village Public Art project with a focus on Freshwater’s early settlers and surfers.
  • Refurbishing the Soldiers Avenue of Honour as part of the Centenary of Anzac commemorations.
  • Closely scrutinising all significant Development Applications in Freshwater for compliance with planning requirements
  • Getting the basic necessities of life such as public toilets and footpaths upgraded
  • Ensuring Freshwater’s fair share of the Council Capital Budget.
  • Revitalise the weed-infested southern headland of Freshwater Beach.
  • Closely scrutinise all significant DA’s.


The Centenary of Armistice Day is Near


We will be commemorating the Centenary of Armistice Day
( 11 November 1918) at Jacka Park at 10am and then will be walking down Soldiers Avenue to the Albert Street Plinth.
Many Freshwater families will be in attendance whose loved ones were killed, maimed or suffered post traumatic shock as a result of this brutal and tragic war.


During the Commemoration, two Sculptures will be unveiled.
One of a northern beaches returning soldier and one of a returning Nurse. Each has been sculpted by renowned artist, Alan Somerville, who is known widely for his sculptures on Anzac Bridge and in Manly (Sir Roden Cutler). In addition, a Commemorative Bench imported from Kilmarnock in Scotland, will be unveiled.  These represent a permanent legacy of the Centenary.

Come join with us on this occasion. You will be most welcome.

Rock Carvings done by local Stonemason – some background

Bush regenerators from Dragonfly Environmental working, courtesy of a Greater Sydney Land Care Grant near the coastal pathway at the southern headland at Undercliffe Reserve, cleared weed growth which had been covering the attached carving. It was done by a local stone mason, Mick Leslie, in the 1970’s. Ironically he was employed by Warringah Council at the time, but this was an after hours hobby.

This stonemason has also done other carvings on the northern pathway at Freshwater Beach and the 1880 carvings on Queenscliff Steps was also done by him.
Hope this is useful to the public art aspect of the Coastal Walk.


This is an important issue for all those who park in Freshwater Village

Council Carpark rezoning
Council Carpark rezoning

Council is proposing to reclassify and rezone the two public car parks in Freshwater Village (the Oliver Street car park and the Lawrence Street car park..see photos attached) from their current zoning of “Community Land”
to “Operational Land”.  

It needs community concurrence to do so. Many in the community have already been circularised by Council, but many have not.

As a community, it is important that we make our voice heard.

Submissions to Council can be made in writing, either on line or by mail by August 26.

The Friends of Freshwater is of the view that this is a timely initiative and is in the best interests of the Freshwater community to have the carpark rezoned. In it’s current state as Community land is used as a Car Park and has limited use. The carpark  covers beneath it’s surface an array of support infra structure for the adjacent Ausgrid Power Transformer station, so it can never be easily developed into anything else. However, as the traffic increases in the surrounding streets easier access to other surrounding private assets that are changing now and in the future will put more pressure on the existing roads ie. Lawrence Street main street driveways. Any potential changes with the current Mounties ‘Waves’ facility and that owned by Telstra infrastructure ( not currently used much ) will impact traffic in the region.

However we do have concerns as to pedestrian safety, particularly with the safe movement of children from Harbord Kindergarten across the car park.

As said we also have concerns for the Waves Youth Centre and its future, once the Mounties Group complete its Harbord Diggers development and the gymnasium is transferred there from its temporary site in the Waves Centre.

“Community Land” as a planning provision, means that it can only be used for public purposes and is usually associated with open space such as public parks and recreational purposes. It cannot be used for private purposes such as allowing the Freshwater Village shopkeepers fronting the northern side of Lawrence Street to have legal access to the rear of their properties via these car parks. Currently all deliveries to them are from Lawrence Street via driveways.  Rezoning to “Operational Land” allows this to occur from the rear of their properties. This will significantly reduce risk to pedestrians and ease traffic movements.

Council has stated that these car parks will remain as car parks.  We think that they are vital to the future of Freshwater Village and would seek an absolute assurance that they would never be sold to private buyers. These car parks also surround the Harbord Electricity Sub-Station with its electro-magnetic radiation generated from its 14kv transformers. Intermittent use such as car parking is the most appropriate whereas residential accommodation is not. Currently a developer is seeking to construct residential accommodation immediately adjacent to the Sub-Station. We are opposed to this, and Council has yet to approve it.

Another development of a site facing the northern side of Lawrence Street (DA2017/1294) was recently approved, against which many Freshwater people, including the Friends of Freshwater, objected.  Our major concern was that this development flew in the face of a provision of the Freshwater Village Master Plan (WDCP 2012) which seeks closure of the driveway crossings on Lawrence Street. This rezoning has dealt with our objection and also would now enable the developer, IPM Holdings, to close its driveway and, as a bonus, construct another shop. It would also enable the developer to gain access to its building site from the Oliver Street car park during demolition, construction and, when the building is completed, for its incoming residents, shopkeepers and customers.  Council wrote a provision into its assessment of the DA to foreshadow this occurrence

Please feel free to use any of the above information in your submission.

Public Toilets in Freshwater 

Public Toilets in Freshwater are in a poor state. The only one in Freshwater Village (see photo) is located behind the now vacant Baby Health Centre building. It dates from the 1930’s and is attached to a building that is heritage listed.  It is exposed to the weather and has no sinks for hand washing. Council admits that it does not meet community hygiene standards.

At Freshwater Surf Club, the public toilets, particularly in the summer months, struggle to cope with the demands of both beachgoers and picnickers alike.  The recently approved Freshwater Open Space Master Plan has provision for the construction of new public toilets on the western end of the Surf Club building, but the vagaries of Council capital budgets mean that this amenity could be years away.

Likewise, public toilets within the swimming pool building at McKillop Park necessitate a 60 step climb from the Pool Deck and are also in need of upgrading.

Friends of Freshwater has been campaigning for the last five years for Public Toilets in Jacka Park.  Provision was made in the Warringah Council Parks and Foreshores Strategic Plan but this was shelved with the Council Amalgamation.   Currently there is heavy usage of this open space by school children and families and there is an urgent need for this basic amenity.

Public access to toilets in the Village shopping centre is also problematic. Toilets in the Arcade in Lawrence Street are in poor repair and need to be upgraded to modern standards. Similarly, toilets in the Freshwater Village Plaza now have to cope with additional demands from two establishments serving alcoholic beverages.

In the new “ Freshwater” apartment and retail complex, provision is made for a public toilet. It is a one stall, mixed gender, disabled access toilet space which is designed to cater for those shopping at the new Super IGA facility.

Narrabeen, Collaroy, and Dee Why have recently had new toilet facilities but nothing for Freshwater.

When Open Space was open space

Freshwater Creek running through C.W. Holloway’s property near Charles Street, c.1904

Standing on the bridge are L-R, Charles, Fred, Cyril and Eric Holloway.

Could also be Rosa left end of bridge

C/- Wendy Mazoudier Machon for the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group

Now that is what Freshwater Coastal Open Space was in 1904 and below you can see how we are changing the space in just over 100years.

Freshwater Coastal Open Space Masterplan

Report to adopt

A report to Council on 22 May 2018 will recommend adoption of the masterplan, as revised following public exhibition. The Council report includes information about community engagement on this project as well as a copy of the final masterplan.
A copy of the revised masterplan is also available in the document library on this project page.
If you would like to attend the Council meeting, here are the details:
  • Venue: Dee Why Council Chamber
  • Date: Tuesday 22 May 2018
  • Time: from 6.30pm
If you would like to address the Council on this, or any other matter, please apply online.
Should you have any questions about the masterplan, please contact Council’s Parks and Recreation team on 1300 434 434.


The recent poisoning, in late 2017, of one of the 22 Norfolk Island Pines along both sides of Kooloora Avenue is indicative of the increasing tension between individual and community amenity. The tree died in quick time, and Council, at substantial cost, was forced to remove it. A new, mid-size tree, has just been planted as a replacement (see picture attached).

This stand of heritage-listed trees was originally planted by Harbord Public School children in 1936 as part of an Arbour Day Program, which enabled street trees to be planted throughout Harbord. Long standing local residents such as Keith Sterland, well remember planting Street trees while at School.  Arbour Day is now known as National Schools Tree Day, and is held on the last Friday in July each year.

Kooloora Avenue has Freshwater Creek running to the ocean along its northern side.  The Creek is now encased in a Storm Water pipe.  These trees would have thrived on the additional moisture provided by the creek.

Norfolk Island Pines are a common feature across the east coast of Australia.  According to famous botanist, Joseph Maiden, who wrote about them in “Flora and Fauna of NSW “in 1902, these trees, apart from providing shade, revel in the sea air, have narrow leaves and a conical shape that offers little wind resistance.

“Kooloora” is said to be a local Aboriginal word possibly meaning ‘fresh water’. The Avenue was previously named Freshwater Ave until Council changed the name in 1932.

The heritage listing of these trees was, in part, based on the fact that they are socially significant as plantings by the local school. Although some are in indifferent health they are a prominent visual element in the Freshwater Beach area & are representative of seaside plantings & association with recreation/holiday themes.


Developments in Freshwater often raise questions of the suburbs’ heritage. Here are the 16 sites that are currently listed as local heritage sites.

·       Former Harbord Uniting Church Corner Albert Street and Ocean View Road
·       Duke Kahanamoku Statue and Memorial Park 77 Evans Street
·       Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club Freshwater Beach
·       Freshwater Rock Pool Freshwater Beach
·       House known as “Melrose” 56 Harbord Road
·       Street Trees Kooloora Avenue
·       House known as “Felicita” 46 Kooloora Avenue
·       Building known as Harbord Literary Institute Corner Lawrence Street and Oliver Street
·       Building known as Early Childhood Health Centre 29 Lawrence Street
·       House 35 Marlborough Avenue
·       Harbord Beach Hotel 29 Moore Street
·       Street Trees Soldiers Avenue
·       “Freshwater” Restaurant 80 Undercliff Road
·       Harbord Public School Corner Wyadra Road and Oliver Street
·       Jacka Park Memorial Garden Corner Wyndora Avenue and Oliver Street
·       Street trees Wyuna AvenueThis list is constantly being updated.



Recent renovations to the heritage-listed Harbord Beach Hotel (aka “the Hilton”) have included a return to the white liverage first used in 1928. For much of its recent life, it has been painted a predominant sand colour.





The Harbord Literary Institute is in its 100thyear of operation, and as yet the community has heard nothing from Council as to any proposed celebration of its longevity.

With its organising committee disbanded (a casualty of the Council amalgamation) there is no capacity for the community to have any input. This is left to anonymous “Asset Managers” who administer the premises.

In 1918, it held many “Welcome Back” functions for local returning service personnel from the war fronts of Europe.

The Institute, uniquely, continues largely the same activities as when it was first established. It still has a library, run on a voluntary basis, after Council closed its Branch.  These dedicated volunteers keep the library flame flickering in Freshwater. It also has a meeting room which is well used for political and community meetings. Its Hall is booked for cultural and community gatherings, and by day, is a long-standing pre-school. Its former tennis court is now utilised for children’s outdoor play.


Mums and their new born children are now forced to seek early childhood services in the multi-storied bun rush that is the new Brookvale Community Health Centre, adjacent to Warringah Mall.  This involves finding parking in the Complex and getting to the designated floor of the building with pram and necessities. Needless to say that young Freshie mums are scattering to other nearby suburbs for their mothers’ groups rather than using this facility.

It is a shame, as the Freshwater Early Childhood Centre worked perfectly well.

Which begs the question as to what is going to be the further use for this Council Asset?


The Mounties Headland Site is nearing part completion with some residential accommodation and a day care facility soon to be occupied. Work is continuing apace on other areas and the excavation for the swimming pools/gymnasium/ residential tower, is well underway.

At the completion of this project, attention will revert to the other Mounties Group asset in Freshwater, the Waves Youth Facility.  This site was established by members of the Freshwater community via the Harbord Diggers Club. It was meant to be a lasting gift to the youth of our community.  With the quiet removal of the site from the core business of Mounties, its Board is apparently free to use or dispose of the asset as it wishes.

Of course, with a burgeoning youth population, a revitalised youth centre would be welcomed.


Congratulations to the 70 concerned residents who have lodged submission against DAs that if approved will determine the future character of Freshwater Village. These DAs are currently being assessed by Council.

Two DA’s lodged in late December 2017, for construction of 35 apartments on vacant land behind the northern side of the Village. This land, now zoned commercial, had never been built on and one of the blocks was owned by the one family for the last 70 years. It recently sold to a developer, IPM Holdings, which immediately lodged a DA. These blocks are uncomfortably close to the Harbord Electricity Sub Station and its 14 KV transformers and magnetic fields.

One DA (2017/1287) proposes 24 bedrooms to be located 3 metres from the Sub-Station, and we are of the view that this is unsafe, unhealthy and poor urban planning.

Submissions against the Developments have mainly been on the grounds that the residential accommodation is accessed by driveways that flow onto busy Lawrence Street. This is in contravention of the Freshwater Village provisions within the Warringah Development Control Plan. There is also no underground parking for visitors or retail customers as there has been with other Village developments.

These DAs will take much, but give little to the community or the Village in return. Needless to note that there has not been one submission in support.

Interestingly one Development Applicant, IPM Holdings, has purchased the former Anglicare site in upper Wyndora Avenue and is currently selling its town houses known as “the Pavilions”prior to completion in June this year.


During this DA process, we discovered that only a small number of surrounding properties were being notified of these DAs.  Of particular note was the adjoining Kahana building in 18 Marmora St., which has its western wall abutting the proposed development. The newly installed residents were not notified, even though the development proposal affects them mightily.

For development proposals of such controversy, widespread notification would have been the norm. Once upon a time the community was letterboxed, and then it was reduced to 300 residences, and now it is a mere 79 properties being notified.

FOF is raising this with Council as it appears that Developers are seeking to have minimal notification by treating these DAs simply as “Alterations and Additions”.


Friends of Freshwater has written to Ausgrid on 14 March asking it to fully wall its open-air sub-station. We are of the view that the time has come for a public safety approach to be taken to the radiation emissions from the site. These should be isolated by the construction, on 3-sides of the site, of a brick wall lined with metal to ensure that emissions are contained and earthed. Gone are the days when a simple wire fence and precautionary signage will suffice.

We are yet to receive a response.


Queensland organic food supplier, FLANNERYS, is set to open a store in Freshwater.  With 11 stores in Queensland, and four in NSW, this retailer caters for those on vegan and gluten free diets.  It has been very successful in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, and recently opened another store at Mona Vale.  In 2018 it will seek to move into the Freshwater Village Plaza.

With a SUPER IGA opening across the road in the new Freshwater Apartment complex, this will do much to reinvigorate Village retailing.


Council put the Draft Master Plan on display in late November 2017, with submissions to be received from the community by Feb.4, 2018. Some expressed concern, that with the community moving into summer holiday mode, the draft Plan would not get the deliberation it deserved.  This has proved not to be the case.

The widespread discussion and concern expressed by the community has led to a number of community meetings with Councillors and the Mayor. These have been specifically around the issue of parking and loss of green space in the Beach Reserve  A number of constructive proposals have been put forward to improve parking and traffic movement without compromising on existing green space and these have been put directly to Council

Of special note is the formation of a Freshwater Park Group comprising residents nearby to both Undercliff and Moore Roads.  They compiled a petition with 576 signatures to reinforce their proposals. These have already been the subject of meetings with the Mayor and senior Council staff.

Council will also be meeting with the bush regeneration group who have been patiently improving the bushland along Lumsdaine drive and Carrington Parade.

The proposed route of the Coastal Walk scythes straight through this bushland rather than straddling the Coast, as does the current Boardwalk.

The ball is now squarely in Councils court, and we await further developments.


Two DA’s lodged in late December 2017, for construction of 35 apartments on vacant land behind the northern side of the Village. This land, now zoned commercial, had never been built on and one of the blocks was owned by the one family for the last 70 years. It recently sold to a developer, IPM Holdings, which immediately lodged a DA. These blocks are uncomfortably close to the Harbord Electricity Sub Station and its 14 KV transformers and magnetic fields.

One DA (2017/1287) proposes 24 bedrooms to be located 3 metres from the Sub-Station, and we are of the view that this is unsafe, unhealthy and poor urban planning.

At the time of writing, FOF and 30 other residents have now lodged objections.  Of course we will need more, and we now have until Mid-march to lodge. These have mainly been on the grounds that the residential accommodation is accessed by driveways that flow onto busy Lawrence Street. This is in contravention of the Freshwater Village provisions within the Warringah Development Control Plan. There is also not underground parking for visitors or retail customers. These DAs will take much but given nothing in return.

Interestingly the Developers have not received one submission of support.


During this DA process, we discovered that only a small number of surrounding properties were being notified of these DAs.  Of particular note was the adjoining Kahana building in 18 Marmora St., which has its western wall abutting the proposed development. The newly installed residents were not notified, even though the development proposal affects them mightily.

For development proposals of such controversy, widespread notification would have been the norm. Once upon a time the community was letterboxed, and then it was reduced to 300 residences, and now it is a mere 79 properties being notified.

FOF is raising this with Council as it appears that Developers are seeking to have minimal notification by treating these DAs simply as “Alterations and Additions”.


Our Baby Health centre is no more and has closed, without any fanfare, after 50 years of excellent service.

The Department of Health has moved it to a new consolidated Community Health Centre.

Mothers seeking post-natal assistance are now forced to drive to Warringah Mall to obtain these essential services. This involves competing for a car spot in a building designed principally for the B-Line bus service traffic.  While it has the advantage of having specialist health services in situ, the days of the leisurely walk to the Village for the Mothers Group meeting and breast-feeding advice, appear over.  Village cafes serving coffee to this clientele will also notice their absence.


Both the Harbord Literary Institute and the Baby Health Centre are buildings under the care and control of Northern Beaches Council. Both are in the western end of the Village and are heritage-listed. Council, for planning purposes is also a major landlord in Freshwater Village.

With the Baby Health Centre now vacant, questions arise as to its future use.


A family friendly remembrance service will be held on 11 November 2018, Each year, our Nation pauses on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November to remember the 60,000 Australians who lost their life in this tragic war. This year has special significance as the Centenary of the conclusion of a tragic, prolonged War.

Did you know that: –

  • The Soldiers Avenue of Honour and Jacka Park are now known as the Freshwater Anzac Precinct.
  • The Soldiers Avenue of Honour (established in 1922) is unique to Sydney.
  • Soldiers Avenue and Jacka Park were declared a community war memorial in 2016 by the State Government.
  • Trees in Soldiers Avenue are heritage-listed and the Heroes Tree was first planted in 1923. Each tree was planted to recognise the service of a local soldier.
  • We are progressively installing bronze footpath memorial plaques adjacent to designated trees for soldiers who saw service in this War.
  • We have also compiled 20 histories of Freshwater soldiers and their descendants, many of whom still live nearby.
  • 129 men from Freshwater served in WW1 from a total Freshwater population of less than 1500. 34 were killed in action. This loss still reverberates with their families today.

This annual Armistice Day event is organised by the Harbord RSL Sub Branch and the Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group.


The 26“Freshwater’apartments on the former Harbord Growers Site are nearing completion and readying for occupation. Already major internal fit-outs are proceeding apace and scaffolding systematically removed. This apartment block is about 6 months overdue. Finishing touches are being placed on the facades. Friends of Freshwater, at the Approval stage, managed to get concessions on provision of a baby change room in the new public toilets as well as external seating and bike racks. The Super IGA will have 1200sqs of retail space.

The look of the external façade with its muted sandstone cladding is in keeping with the requirements of the Freshwater Village DCP provisions.

There has been much conjecture over the occupants of the third retail space, after Cellarbrations withdrew its Liquor Licence application. Latest mail from our Village snout, is that it will be a restaurant selling Japanese-styled food.

Underground parking for both residents and customers will be a welcome addition to the Village. We will welcome the return of Bakers Delight, and a Super IGA.

At 5 Pavilion St, the 6-storey cliff-top apartment block has now assumed its permanent profile for its 6 apartments. These will be very substantial and will sell for a pretty penny This undoubtedly will be a welcome improvement on the dog of a building that it replaces.


Freshwater’s Sean Rout was recently recognised by Northern Beaches Council on Australia Day. for his outstanding service to our community and more widely.  He is an Executive Member of the Friends of Freshwater, organises both the Anzac Day Ceremony at Mckillop Park and the Armistice Day Ceremony at Jacka Park but is also closely involved with the Manly Marlins and the Manly Waratahs.

Good one, Sean!


By mid 2018, Freshwater Village may have three outlets serving Sushi.  Hiro’s restaurant in Lawrence Street has doubled its capacity, and the owner is thought to be opening a Sushi Bar in Freshwater Village Plaza (where a well-liked Pharmacy used to be). In addition, a Japanese Ramen noodle establishment is rumoured to be opening in the new “Freshwater” complex.


High rents and short leases continue to plague shopkeeper in the Village.  Recently a three further shops had their leases terminated. “Wonders” toy shop, which serviced Freshies burgeoning 0-5 population, has moved to Darley Road, Manly.  Total Beauty is to be located upstairs in the Village Plaza and Phil Murray’s Gym is also looking to move elsewhere.

It appears that the landlord, IPM Holdings must be supremely confident of getting its opportunistic DA approved.

2018 Memberships of Friends of Freshwater are due for renewal.

If you are thinking of becoming a member of FOF, or simply renewing your membership, then hop on line to our website at for easy subscription.

 New Development DA’s submitted in Village

12 February, 2018 – Another quick one that our illustrious leader, Peter Harley has discovered that was not adequately communicated by the council and his action today has had the time slot for submission of comments extended by a month.
If you feel this is of interest to the Freshwater Community please make your submission via the direct Council links below.

Both  blocks 21, 15&9 have had DA’s lodged for development  – DA2017/1294 and DA2017/1287.
They were lodged at the end of December for sites on the northern side of Lawrence Street, and in the case of 1294, received by Council on 20/12/17 with little time to prepare the documentation prior to the Christmas break. Then the turnaround time for submissions has to occur largely in School Holidays when the bulk of the beachside Freshwater population is enjoying its holidays.

The Council has just extended by a month the comment time and will circulate to more neighbours details and  is asking for any impact submissions before expiry.

Freshwater Coastal Open Space Master Plan

04 February 2018

Submissions on the Draft Masterplan close – if you have any comments  submit your comments to the Council link below.

    On November 28 the Council submitted a report to recommend that the draft master plan is placed on public exhibition and as available on the Northern Beaches Council Site. The key part is there has been a consultative process since earlier this year that is continuing. <click on image to see full size> MasterPlan 1 – The Greening of area behind Freshwater Beach MasterPlan 2 – Changes/ Improvements on the Freshwater / Queenscliff Hill MastrPlan 3 – Reclaiming Diggers Car Park, MacKillop Park and the boardwalk extension Here are the Key parts and the next important step is to attend the following on site meetings on : Saturday December 9  8am-11am – Beach end Kooloora Ave and again Wednesday December 13 8am – 11am – Beach end of Kooloora Ave to learn,  discuss it or offer alternative ideas or objections.

Dear Friends

Please see attached our comprehensive submission based upon a range of viewpoints put forward by our membership since November.
This is a once in a generation opportunity to progress on issues which we and others have been raising for nearly a decade.
These include:-
    • Completion of the missing link coastal boardwalk from South Curl Curl Pool to the northern end of Freshwater Beach.
    • Better access to Freshwater rock pool for disabled and frail-aged.
    • Upgraded public toilets and amenities in the Beach Reserves (Freshwater Surf Club) and at McKillop Park (Harbord Swimming Club site)
    • Refurbishment of the two children’s playgrounds and their surrounding safety, that have not had renewal for the last 20 years.
    • A Management Plan for the heritage-listed Freshwater View Estate
    • Stormwater upgrades and bush regeneration of Undercliffe Reserve to prevent overflows and further weed infestation.
  • An integrated linkage between the Freshwater Village and the Beach via Moore Road.

Submissions close on 4 February.

To lodge an on line submission:-

    1.  Go to Northern Beaches Council
    1. Click on HAVE YOUR SAY
    1. Click on Community Engagement Projects
    1. Scroll down to Freshwater Coastal Open Space Master Plan
  1. Click on Submission tab, make comments and then submit.

All the best

Best regards

Peter Harley

Friends of Freshwater inc.

Here is our  group submission


This image link below is a short ‘Time Lapse’ taken on Australia Day – Jan 26 2018 at 11am and represents 5 minutes of realtime but shows the impact of closing the Car Park completely and the issues at the beach end ‘cul de sac’ with turnaround traffic without more attention to car short unloading of passengers likely.

Freshwater Time-lapse ( 5mins realtime ) 


A Finnish research team from the University of Turku is currently in Australia identifying sustainability initiatives in local communities.  Team Members from the Finland Futures Research Centre, Professor Markku Wilenius and Dr. Ana Jones, recently visited the Freshwater Community Garden to observe how small green spaces can be used for a greater community purpose. They were impressed at the recycling of resources, water collection, composting, bee-keeping and collective production of fruit, vegetables and herbs. They were also impressed by the capacity of the Community Garden to provide a social focus for people residing in nearby medium density housing.

Freshwater Community Garden is now into its 5th year of existence and is a testimony to the persistent work of local volunteers with a small level of assistance from local government.

Volunteers in the unfenced Crown Reserve Garden, tend the plants, mow the lawns, remove the weeds and harvest the crops.  Many friendships have been formed during these activities.

These local bottom-up environmental initiatives, according to the Finnish Futures Research Centre have a wider application globally.


Monday Dec 4 2017 

A substantial camphor laurel tree with a massive tree root system has been removed in Soldiers Avenue and stump ground today.  So extensive were its roots, that the roadway and kerb will have to be lifted to enable it to be fully removed.


Friends of Freshwater has been calling for the tree’s removal for a number of years so that a footpath and further Queensland Brush box trees can be planted in it stead and along the Northern side of the Soldiers Avenue Memorial. Queensland Brush Box Trees comprise the heritage listed trees in the Avenue Memorial.


Our research has also revealed that there were memorial brush box tree saplings planted between 1920 and 1939, in memory of deceased service personnel, on this side of the Avenue, but they did not survive to maturity.


Burls taken from the Camphor Laurel will be made into suitable memorial items for installation in Jacka Park.


The Soldiers Avenue of Honour Stakeholders Group (including the Friends of Freshwater) has been negotiating for two years with Northern Beaches Council and its predecessor, to remove a massive Camphor Laurel tree on the northern side of the Soldiers Avenue World War 1 Precinct. Camphor Laurels, because of their invasive root systems, are considered a noxious pest by local government. This particular tree is relatively young compared to the heritage-listed Queensland Brush Box trees in Soldiers Avenue and it is not associated with the memorial plantings of trees over the last century.

This tree is causing major damage to the streetscape and its bulging roots are in the way of a proposed foot path for which the Group has also been campaigning. Council is planning to remove the tree on September 4 but obviously councils take their time.   

Undercliffe​ ​Reserve​ at​ ​Freshwater​ ​has​ ​been​ ​restored​ ​with​ ​a​ ​little​ ​help from​ ​some​ ​local​ ​friends.

For​ ​the​ ​past​ ​two​ ​years​ ​a Friends of Freshwater  ​Bushcare​ ​volunteer​ ​group​​ ​has​ ​been​ ​working​ ​to​ ​regenerate​ ​and​ ​stabilise​ ​the​ ​local​ ​environment in​ ​the​ ​area,​ ​contributing​ ​more​ ​than​ ​500​ ​hours​ ​of​ ​their​ ​time​ ​to​ ​the​ ​cause. Founding​ ​member​ ​Peter​ ​Harley​ ​said​ ​the​ ​results​ ​of​ ​their​ ​work​ ​had​ ​not​ ​been​ ​lost​ ​on​ ​local residents​ ​and​ ​visitors​ ​alike. “There​ ​is​ ​a​ ​great​ ​appreciation​ ​for​ ​our​ ​work​ ​among​ ​local​ ​beach​ ​goers,”​ ​he​ ​said. One​ ​such​ ​local​ ​beach​ ​goer​ ​includes​ ​seven-time​ ​World​ ​Surfing​ ​Champion​ ​Layne​ ​Beachley,​ ​who regularly​ ​stops​ on her way for a surf, ​to​ ​compliment​ ​the​ ​efforts​ ​of​ ​the​ ​group. “The​ ​transformation​ ​has​ ​been​ ​truly​ ​remarkable,”​ ​Ms​ ​Beachley​ ​said.​ ​“The​ ​work​ ​of​ ​the volunteers​ ​means​ ​you​ ​can​ ​now​ ​take​ ​in​ ​the​ ​beautiful​ ​view​ ​on​ ​the​ ​way​ ​down​ ​to​ ​the​ ​beach.” Mr​ ​Harley​ ​said​ ​the​ ​group​ ​had​ ​recently​ ​received​ ​a​ ​grant​ ​from​ ​Greater​ ​Sydney​ ​Local​ ​Land Services​ ​which​ ​had​ ​helped​ ​boost​ ​the​ ​results. “We​ ​also​ ​rely​ ​heavily​ ​on​ ​support​ ​and​ ​guidance​ ​from​ ​Northern​ ​Beaches​ ​Council,”​ ​he​ ​said. Greater​ ​Sydney​ ​Land​ ​Services​ ​officer,​ ​Rebecca​ ​Mooy​ ​said​ “ ​the​ ​volunteer​ ​effort​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Reserve is​ ​obvious​ ​when​ ​you​ ​walk​ ​the​ ​path​ ​from​ ​the​ ​new​ ​stair​ ​way.  “ Coastal​ ​Rosemary,​ ​Wattles,​ ​and​ ​Lomandra​ ​planted​ ​by​ ​the​ ​volunteers​ ​to​ ​increase​ ​the​ ​shrub layer​ ​are​ ​a​ ​big​ ​change​ ​from​ ​the​ ​weedy​ ​understory​ ​of​ ​Asparagus​ ​Fern​ ​and​ ​other​ ​weeds​ ​that had​ ​invaded​ ​coastal​ ​bushland,”​ ​she​ ​said. Northern​ ​Beaches​ ​Council​ ​General​ ​Manager​ ​Environment​ ​and​ ​Infrastructure​ ​Ben​ ​Taylor​ ​said the​ ​iconic​ ​beach, ​ ​within​ ​the​ ​Manly​ ​–​ ​Freshwater​ ​World​ ​Surfing​ ​Reserve, ​ ​is​ ​a​ ​highly​ ​valued part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​northern​ ​beaches​ ​coastline​ ​and​ ​is​ ​a​ ​focus​ ​for​ ​council’s​ ​volunteers​ ​who​ ​also stabilised​ ​the​ ​sand​ ​dunes​ ​to​ ​reduce​ ​the​ ​impact​ ​of​ ​coastal​ ​erosion. “A​ ​mountain​ ​of​ ​invasive​ ​weeds​ ​has​ ​been​ ​removed, ​ ​native​ ​plantings​ ​re-introduced​ ​and​ ​the general​ ​environment​ ​of​ ​this​ ​much-loved​ ​location​ ​greatly​ ​improved​ ​for​ ​everyone​ ​to​ ​enjoy,” ​ he said. Follow​ ​us​ ​​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​Twitter​ ​@lls_sydney​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​YouTube​ ​Greater​ ​Sydney​ ​Local​ ​Land​ ​Services

Census results for FRESHWATER NSW 2096.

One of the most fascinating is how Freshwater is evolving, in terms of population growth and shifts in demographic. How is the shift in different age groups affecting house and rental prices? Are there more baby boomers or millennials in your area?

Source: ABS Census data 2011 and 2016  

We are again gathering to do a bit of gardening in the sunshine.
This week we will be planting citrus and tending our other citrus trees which need a bit of TLC.
On Wednesday morning next week the Community Bank is filming a link between its customers and its sponsored organisations, of which there are more than 200). Our Garden is a recipient of Bank support for the purchase of its shed and its compost bins as well as one garden bed.
If anyone can afford an hour on Wednesday morning to assemble at Room 210 Cafe in mid Lawrence Street at 9.15am then please let me know?  Coffee and muffins will be provided by the Bank. It is anticipated that sporting, charity, environmental and kindergarten reps will be in attendance. Come with garden implements.

Friends of Freshwater Inc. Charter


  • Assisting with maintaining and developing sustainable village centres serving the local community for Freshwater and nearby threshold suburbs such as Queenscliff, North Manly, and Curl Curl.
  • Drawing upon Freshwater’s unique character, heritage and history to celebrate and enhance its institutions and its image.
  • Maximising opportunities for pedestrians, motor vehicles, public transport, and cyclists to move safely around and through the community.
  • Reducing adverse parking and traffic impacts in Freshwater Village, Beach Reserves and neighbouring streets.
  • Creating and maintaining a network of public open spaces and facilities to service the needs of the community.
  • Consolidating the Sydney Coastal Walk and its loop linkages as they pass through Freshwater from Palm Beach to Manly
  • Providing state-of the art, culturally sensitive, high quality, place-making and integrated urban design, with emphasis on amenity, safety and security.
  • Evaluate major development applications in Freshwater to ensure that they adhere to both the Local Environment Plan and other local planning instruments.
  • Restoring the natural environment and amenity of Freshwater’s coastal reserves.
  • Working with the three tiers of government to support the progress of community projects specific to Freshwater.

The Duke Newsletter

The Duke Newsletter – Friends of Freshwater

The Friends of Freshwater Inc. publishes “the Duke” Newsletter as a service to its membership and the wider Freshwater community, and all the views and opinions expressed in it are those of the Executive of FOF Inc.

If you wish to become a member or renew your membership, further contact can be made with us either via our website; or via our email address; or via our face book site Friends of Freshwater Inc.; or via our formal address at PO Box 663, Freshwater NSW 2096.

The Duke  is filled with interesting chronological details that relate to matters of that month, from the local weather, the surf, background on history, events, comments and anything that has an impact on our life in Freshwater.

Simply click on the relevant month or use the SEARCH facility to find anything that is printed and relates to our area.

Join Friends of Freshwater


Join Friends of Freshwater Inc,  here and be a part in our non partisan Freshwater community group. By adding or renewing your membership you become a financial member and this allows us all to express a more valuable community voice will be heard at all levels and be more involved in the process including with other community minded groups who we can help.

Please refer to our online membership system here and add your full details for our records.


The Friends of Freshwater is a ‘Not for Profit’ Registered Organisation managed by a group of  locals who share an interest in our local community and express concerns, news, history and events as it may impact our local area.

The Friends of Freshwater Inc. publishes “the Duke”Newsletter as a service to its membership and the wider Freshwater community, and all the views and opinions expressed in it are those of the Executive of FOF Inc.  If you wish to become a member or renew your membership, further contact can be made with us either via this website; or via our email address: friendsoffreshwater; or via our face book site Friends of Freshwater Inc.; or via our formal address at PO Box 663, Freshwater NSW 2096.